Nashville Chamber Hosts Discussion on Affordable Housing in Nashville

(Left to right: Miranda McDonald of Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Clavin and Rusty Lawrence of Urban Housing Solutions, Metro Council At-Large Member Burkley Allen, Lauren Lane Payne of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, Matt Wiltshire of MDHA, and Marshall Crawford of The Housing Fund. Not pictured: Hank Helton of Pathway Lending.)

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a panel discussion last week at Second Harvest Food Bank centered on affordable housing and the importance of cross-sector partnerships in the Nashville region. The program featured panelists from a variety of Nashville organizations who have a hand in affordable housing. Panelists included: Metro Council Member Burkley Allen, Matt Wiltshire of MDHA, Marshall Crawford of The Housing Fund, Lauren Lane Payne of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, Hank Helton of Pathway Lending, Rusty Lawrence and Kevin Clavin of Urban Housing Solutions. Panelists discussed the importance of affordable housing, as the Nashville region continues to grow and cost of living increases. They also highlighted the necessary work of the business community to help tackle the obstacle of affordable housing across the region. Panelists were interviewed for a recent piece on WKRN focused on affordable housing in Nashville. 

When asked, "What is the greatest need from the business community for your organization?" panelists from The Housing Fund, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, Urban Housing Solutions, and Pathway Lending responded as follows:

  • "The affordable housing challenges impact the people that work for the members of the Chamber. The challenges are not just a government and nonprofit issue. We need businesses to provide capital to help make building and preserving affordable housing easier without total reliance on government funding. By helping to create a designated source of capital for affordable housing." - Marshall Crawford, The Housing Fund
  • "Advocacy and making others aware of the importance of affordable housing which will impact all area businesses and their ability to hire and retain hourly employees." - Lauren Lane Payne, Habitat for Humanity
  • "We are looking for industries affected by the affordable housing shortage in Nashville (hospitality, retail, healthcare, etc.) to discuss potential investment partnerships that allow us to develop more housing in Nashville." - Kevin Clavin, Urban Housing Solutions 
  • "One of the primary needs / gaps in the market is a lack of dedicated financial resources leveraging public and private funds for predevelopment and development financing for workforce housing focused on families making 60% - 120% of median family income. We also need increased capacity of affordable housing developers in the for-profit sector, with an emphasis on small and emerging developers particularly in the African-American and women-owned market segment." - Hank Helton, Pathway Lending

The Nashville Area Chamber is committed to making Nashville a flourishing place to work and live. Part of our 5-year Partnership 2020 plan is focused on place and livability. Along with discussing the importance and impact of affordable housing, our P2020 place and livability pillar also encompasses regional transit solutions, business advocacy, global connectivity, public asset development, cost-of-living advantages, as well as health and wellness. Committed to increasing quality of life in the Nashville region, the Nashville Area Chamber supports incentive-based solutions that increase the overall housing supply of Nashville. Be on the look out for other upcoming events focused on affordable housing and other place and livability initiatives. 

For more information and resources on affordable housing in Nashville, check out the links below.

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